An Arctic cold front has arrived in North Texas, dropping temperatures into the teens and wind chills to single digits.
North Texas Roads
NBC 5's Josh Ault drove around Dallas County where the Texas Department of Transportation treated roads with a brine solution — mixture of salt and water that lasts for several days — in case of a weather event.
TxDOT spokesman Ryan Lafontaine said with the older methods, they would have to time the treatments correctly.
"If you put it down too soon the cars would blow it off the road," he said. "What brine does, it forms a residue on the road and it can stay for a week, a week and a half."
TxDOT officials said crews also treated major roadways in Tarrant County, including Interstate 30, Interstate 20, Interstate 35W and Loop 820. They paid special attention to the Mixmaster near downtown Fort Worth.
Crews will treat several roads in Collin and Denton counties Thursday night, officials said.
North Texas Tollway Authority officials said they will treat their roads by the end of the day Thursday.
MedStar's Cold Weather Protocol
MedStar officials said they implemented cold weather protocol Thursday, which means they made outdoor calls a priority and first responders will watch closely for hypothermia and frostbite.
"The cold weather does make medical problems worse. Specifically respiratory difficulties," MedStar spokesman Matt Zavadsky said. "So people who have asthma or emphysema would typically have additional breathing problems in this kind of weather."
Once "real feel" temperatures increase to above 25 degrees, MedStar will return to normal practice.
Paramedics suggested that North Texans limit time spent outside, stay dry and wear several layers of clothing.
Texas Department of Public Safety officials advised North Texans to be prepared for the cold as well.
- Preparing a tool kit with a pocket knife, windshield scraper and shovel.
- Making sure vehicles are up to date on maintenance.
- Charging cellphones.
- Having a flash light and extra batteries ready in case of a blackout.
All pets should be kept inside and outdoor plants covered during the cold, officials said. Homeowners should ensure outdoor pipes are insulated.